portland independent media center  
images audio video
feature article commentary | reporting portland metro

actions & protests | bikes/transportation | government

Critical Mass stalled by 'peace police'

From the open publishing newswire: So I was really pumped about this month. I felt empowered and was riding my bike in circles in anticipation of this months ride. I always dig that when I am riding down to under the bridge I always meet someone along the way if not tons. The march finally gets under way after what was too damn long and bikes kept changing positions north south go go. I think I started in the middle but the next thing you know i'm by my self in the front. Alone all alone is a key theme for the evening. sure there were cops but the core riders agree that you need to keep together and that means running the reds. The laws that keep them up keep us down and since we don't have these big old economy supporting war sanctioning road machines We are not in the capitalists good graces and we must be stoped by any means. [ Read More... ]

Over 1000 bikes, but no Critical Mass
Tonight as people gathered for the mass, there were hundreds of people in all sorts of great costumes. It was a festive atmosphere under the Burnside Bridge and it seemed like a great ride was ahead. However, the combination of numerous police giving out tickets, and aggressive 'peace police' took all the energy out of the ride. Actually, it was not even a ride. Half the time was spent sitting at red lights, or slowly biking/walking to the next one. With the ride completely controlled by the cops, of both flavors, there were many cars interspersed with cyclists, and lots of time was spent breathing car fumes. Herded like sheep, block by block, it was neither a political statement or any sort of fun bike riding. In short, it sucked.

The evening makes me wonder about what were the arrangements between 'organizers' and the police. It seemed that there was an aggressive effort by 'peace police' to keep people under control and following the city's dictates. Well, not knowing what went on in meetings and in minds, I'll refrain from being overly critical of those efforts until I hear more. I'll just add that if this evening is what people are envisioning for Critical Mass to be in Portland, I want nothing to do with it. [ Read More... ]

Critical Mass: Know when to choose your battles
I am not surprised by most of the comments that I have read in Indymedia this morning putting the blame on those of us who tried to keep some level of fun and non-confrontation in the ride last night. The obvious reactionary kids, some of them influenced by the FSU youngsters, only see the ride as a vehicle for protest and civil disobedience. I must admit, when I was in my 20's, one of the founding members of So. Cal Students for A Democratic Society, a writer for the Long Beach Free Press, and attending every anti-war protest from San Diego to Bezerkley, I was a lot like them. I think the one difference from today's protesters and 60's-70's was we knew what tactics were appropriate to the situation and attitude of the police. Bottom line is that Critical Mass is not a political protest. [ Read More... ]

more: [ What happens if you don't show ID? | A Butcher-Knife Is Being Held To The Throat Of Critical Mass | Critical Mass, Wasn't All Bad | STOP THIS BULLSHIT! | November Mass, Critical | Critical Mass Clergy | Critical Farce | Bicyclist Struck by Hit and Run | bike riders stopped, possibly cited this evening by a hoard of police | August & September Critical Mass rides | Portland Critical Mass website ]